The shipwreck in the 1970s
|Route:||Auckland to Brisbane|
|Builder:||Lindholmens Varv, Gothenburg|
|Out of service:||1973|
Cherry Venture was a 1600 ton cargo ship of Scandinavian origin. It ran aground on Teewah Beach in South East Queensland, Australia on 6 July 1973 and remained on the beach for 34 years until its removal in early 2007.
The ship, originally named the Scania, was built in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1945. She was later called the Slott and Timor Venture. In 1973, she was owned by Sea Tankers Pty. Ltd. of Singapore and known as the Cherry Venture.
Cause of the wreck
Cherry Venture was wrecked due to a combination of severe storms and a lack of cargo. Buoys in the area recorded wave heights of up to 40 ft (12 m). The unladen ship sat high in the water, which, when combined with the high tides and strong swell, propelled it to a point far enough up the sand that it could not be successfully re-floated, despite attempts that involved dredging the beach. However, the captain and the crew of 24 and 2 monkeys onboard all survived.
The wreck was subsequently purchased by Peter Vagellas, an Australian entrepreneur, who had intended to re-float the vessel and convert it into a luxury liner and floating casino to service the Great Barrier Reef. In 1977 there was a failed attempt to refloat the ship. Nine major salvage attempts over the years have failed.
The wreck was a popular stopping point for tourists en route between Noosa and Fraser Island, and has been photographed often. Despite safety warnings regarding the rusting structure's unsound nature, visitors would often climb over the wreck.
In December 1985, the ship's stainless steel propeller was removed using a thermal lance by Bill, Tony and Bruce Dunne of Caloundra. It was later restored by the Rainbow Beach Business and Tourism Association and then mounted as a monument in the township of Rainbow Beach.
The removal process, which necessitated cordoning off a section of public highway which runs along the beach next to the wreck, began on 13 February 2007.
2013 hull recovery
After the demolition of the wreck in 2007, the state government ordered the site to be buried for the safety of visitors. In 2013, Cyclone Oswald and local storms caused severe erosion at the site which removed the layer of sand above the remains of the hull. This sparked the tourism business as the wreck was and now still is a special example of Australia's shipping history.
- "The propellor of the "Cherry Venture"". Gympie Regional Council. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
- Shipwrecks in Australia, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
- The Cherry Venture
- "Cherry Venture in 1974"".
- "Cherry Venture to be removed next month". The Age. Fairfax Digital. 16 January 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
- Flickr Tag for Cherry Venture
- A Fading Queensland icon is about to receive its last rites.
- Cherry Venture wreck to be removed from Teewah Beach Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.